A More Personal Flavor

investigation of meaning / McCormick

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As part of “The Meaning of Branded Objects” course at SVA, we inventoried every belonging we possessed and analyzed the perceptions, experiences, and collective unconscious that led to either meaningful or insignificant relationships between ourselves and the things we owned. McCormick was a brand I cared very little about, partly because I don’t cook and partly because it chooses to express itself in a nurturing, thrifty personality better suited for other generations.

challenge: Dr. Tom Guarriello, Ph.D. tasked the class with repositioning the brand we cared least about to make it appeal to our own persona.

process: We analyzed the gap between what created personal meaning and what failed to connect through looking at different models of archetypes, story arcs, motivations, past behaviors, and values.


strategyThe brand takes a very intellectual approach, connecting with consumers by assigning a flavor profile accompanied by a dashboard of data visualizations. As someone overwhelmed by the science of cooking, this isn’t inviting.


What does work is a more sensorial approach, focusing the brand on adding flavor (not cooking) and shifting the message to individualizing (not perfecting). The final brand position, “your flavor: for every snack and meal, McCormick has your flavor,” gave permission to explore.



SVA MPSB Class Project

professor: Dr. Tom Guarriello, Ph.D.